PayPal Says Misinformation Fine Policy Update Sent in Error

An update to the service's user agreement indicated customers could be fined $2,500, but PayPal says that was a mistake.

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PayPal said Monday it has no plans to fine customers for using its service to spread misinformation, adding that an earlier policy update outlining a plan to fine users $2,500 for such an act was issued in error.

PayPal drew widespread criticism over the weekend after the company published an update to its new user agreement that prohibited PayPal customers from using its service for activities identified by it as "sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials" promoting misinformation.

The policy update, which would have levied a penalty of $2,500 for each violation, "went out in error" and "included incorrect information," a PayPal spokesperson said.

"PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. We're sorry for the confusion this has caused," a PayPal spokesperson said.

The suggestion that a company could issue monetary penalties for speech it deemed misinformation comes amid ongoing scrutiny from conservative critics who accuse social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook of censoring content for ideological reasons, a claim the social media firms have repeatedly denied.

The policy update drew widespread condemnation on social media, including from David Marcus, PayPal's former president, who slammed the policy in a tweet that said it "goes against everything I believe in."

Billionaire Elon Musk, who has been embroiled for months in a legal battle with Twitter over his proposed $44 billion takeover of the social network, responded to Marcus' tweet with his own endorsement that read simply: "Agreed."